On 18 March 2020, Malta International Airport plc explained that the Covid-19 outbreak and ensuing developments have severely impacted passenger traffic through the airport in the first weeks of March. Although the number of flight cancellations have led to a drop of 14% in seat capacity between 1 March and 17 March 2020, seat loads experienced a drop of 22.4 percentage points as travel demand continued to weaken in the wake of new developments and more stringent measures being taken by the authorities to curb the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, traffic in the first 17 days of March declined by 38% when compared to the same period in 2019.
Excluding the markets that were impacted by government’s recent travel ban (namely Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland), MIA’s other markets experienced a decline of 38% in passenger movements during the abovementioned week. The top market – the United Kingdom – registered a drop of 36% in the last seven days over last year.
Given the authorities’ decision to suspend all inbound commercial flights as of 20 March 2020 at midnight, MIA is expecting the situation to deteriorate even further over the coming weeks. As a result, the company will continue to closely monitor the situation, but its ability to assess the full impact of Covid-19 on the business remains limited due to the fluidity of the situation. In any case, MIA is not expecting to deliver its original financial forecasts as indicated on 29 January 2020. Accordingly, MIA will issue other market updates as the situation develops.
Postponement of AGM & Extraordinary Board Meeting
Given the extraordinary circumstances, MIA decided to postpone the Annual General Meeting which was originally scheduled for Wednesday 13 May 2020 to Wednesday 29 July 2020. Furthermore, the company noted that it will be holding an Extraordinary Board Meeting on Wednesday 22 April 2020. As the situation unfolds, it is expected that by then, the Directors of the company will have greater visibility of the evolving state of affairs surrounding the Covid-19 virus outbreak and its impact on the company. Accordingly, during the Extraordinary Board Meeting, the Board of Directors of MIA will, amongst others, re-consider the then current state of affairs and any measures which the company may need to implement, and also discuss whether the situation merits a re-consideration of the proposed net dividend of €0.10 per share as previously communicated on 26 February 2020.